After our single day and night in Sitiawan with our dear friend Philip, we headed to Langkawi Island. Only it was a bad time to travel, especially from Sitiawan, a predominantly Chinese town. Chinese new year had just ended and everyone had gone home to be with their families for this holiday. So now everyone was now traveling out of Sitiawan back to where they came from – work, school, or whatever. So we were unable to get a bus directly to where we needed to go, Kuala Perlis. Long story short, a trip that should have taken about 4 hours, ended up taking us 12 hours.
We had to first get a bus from Sitiawan to Butterworth, then another bus to Alor Setar. From there the ferry terminal, Kuala Kedah, was not very far away, but of course it took us over an hour on two local buses to get there. Once there, we were told the next ferry would be arriving in 45 minutes. It didn’t show up. We waited almost 2 hours more before it showed up. The ferry was huge (500 person capacity) and the seats were recycled airplane seats. Pretty funny. Also they were BLASTING the a/c and it was so cold. Luckily I had the blanket I had ‘borrowed’ from my Delta flight to keep warm. Once we arrived to Langkawi Island we were able to find 4 other tourists to share a taxi van with to the beach where all the tourists go, which is pretty far from the ferry. So it only cost us $2 each instead of a lot more.
We went directly to Hotel Amani, where Heidi and I had stayed in the Summer of 2011 when we were there. Only this time the price was 45 MYR. $15. Double what we paid in 2011. Way too much. However I was exhausted so I said we’d just stay one night and find something cheaper in the morning. Next morning we went to every other guesthouse on the beach and none were cheaper so we just stayed at Amani, even though our room was really crappy and didn’t even have a sink!!! Prices seem to have risen a great deal since I was there last, so we only stayed 4 nights/3 days.
Our first day we just hung out on the beach all day, it was a hot day and the water was cool. We laid in the shade because the sun was so hot. Hussein met a Moroccan guy when he was hanging out in the water and we ended up hanging out with him and his Chinese friend, a girl named “Jingle”, that night. Hussein was happy to have met someone he could speak Arabic with.
our beach, Cenang beach, as seen from the water
Our second day we didn’t do much of anything again, just went to the beach again and lazed around, and hung out with the Moroccan guy (I forgot his name already) and Jingle again in the evening.
The only cheap food options on this beach were Indian restaurants so we were eating a lot of Indian food, but I’m not complaining, it was really good.
Our third and last day, February 19th, we decided to go rent a motorbike and ride around the island to some other beaches and a waterfall. I drove the first 5 minutes but felt too uneasy with Hussein on the back so I let him drive the rest of the day. We rode out to a beach, Pantai Kok, on the northwest side of the island, but the sand on the bottom in the water was really squishy and slimey feeling, probably something to do with all the pine trees on the beach, so we didn’t go swimming there, Hussein was too grossed out by the feel of the sand. We just had lunch there and laid in the shade and took a nap for a while then walked around and took some photos.
The beach with the icky squishy sand bottom
Next we rode over to the Cable Car, which unfortunately had the sky bridge closed, so there was no point to really go up as it was kind of expensive.We bought a map of the island there though since we kept getting lost, and rode over to a waterfall called Durian Perangin where we went swimming in nice cold refreshing water. However after we got out of the water we noticed a big ‘HEALTH RISK’ sign posted on a tree, warning that the water may have bacteria, parasites, etc. Luckily nothing happened to us.
|the sign we saw after swimming..oops|